With a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter Tuesday night Glenbard East girls basketball coach Don Finnie put his starters back into the game.
Finnie wasn't trying to run up the score on Elgin. He wanted to get his starters some practice against a press defense.
The starters were able to break the press and keep the ball for about 2½ minutes before again going to the bench in a 38-17 season-opening victory over the Maroons at Chesbrough Field House in Elgin.
"We haven't really worked against the press yet," Finnie said. "I wanted the starters to go back in and work against that. It wasn't anything against the kids that were in there."
The Rams had 15 turnovers in the fourth quarter, almost all coming with the starters on the bench. By that time, the game was already decided.
The game was tied at 4-4 with 3:30 left in the first quarter before Glenbard East went on a 15-0 run over the next 7 minutes to take control. Kelly Eberle started the run with a 3-point play and Sammie Symonds capped it with 4:40 remaining in first half for a 19-4 lead.
"Kelly found her driving lanes and kind of opened everything else for us," Finnie said.
The Maroons, who only won one game last season, struggled offensively all night. They missed their first 4 shots and turned the ball over four times before a basket from Maggie Powers with 3:52 left in the first quarter.
Elgin was 2-for-21 from the floor and turned the ball over 21 times in the first half and trailed 23-8 at the break.
"I was a little disappointed. We really struggled," Maroons coach Dr. Nick Bumbales said. "We've really practiced well. We shot the ball well. We didn't see that tonight."
The Maroons shot just 10 percent for the game, going 4-for-39, and turned the ball over 29 times. Kristin Tayag led Elgin with 5 points. Abby Pierre-Louis grabbed 7 rebounds off the bench.
Symonds' 10 points paced the Rams. Eberle added 9 points. Allison Hansen had 10 rebounds.